Meet Senior Fellow Kathy Pham
A get to know you series introducing the digital HKS fellows
digital HKS is an initiative at Harvard Kennedy School committed to teaching public leaders how to understand the relationship between technology, data, and the public interest by training them to assimilate how to design, build, and engage with digital technologies as they relate to civic participation, equity, governance, and accountability. The fellowship provides a space for thinkers and doers in the sphere of digital technology to explore ideas through research and engagement with the Harvard community at-large.
Kathy Pham as a Senior Fellow focused on ‘product management’ specifically as it pertains to government and the development of government services. In addition to her fellowship appointment, Kathy is joining the Kennedy School as an Adjunct Lecturer.
Can you tell us more about your HKS course?
I will be teaching Product Management and Society: Building Technology in Government and Beyond. It is an introductory and overview course that teaches how to think like a product manager and how to partner with product managers in a public service setting. In addition to the class, I will focused on building a community of product managers across all levels of government and public service. I will also be writing more about product management in government and the public sector. There are many skills that overlap public and private sector, but there are unique challenges in the public sector. A few of those challenges include resource constraints, procurement, policy-led product design, assumed restrictions on talking to users, and many more.
No experience in software, product management, or design is necessary to take Pham’s course. It is intended for those interested in understanding the critical role of a product manager to build technology services in the public sector or in mission focused private sector.
Do you have any book recommendations students might find useful?
- Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor, by Virginia Eubanks
- Greek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology, by Kentaro Toyama
- The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman
- The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, by Clayton M. Christensen
- The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, by Frederick P. Brooks Jr.
You can read more about Pham and her fall/spring semester course by clicking here.